The sight of Rory McIlroy on crutches this week immediately put one question on everyone’s lips – will he be able to play in The Open?

Although we are awaiting confirmation one-way or the other, it’s seems unlikely that even the world’s number one golfer will be able to recover from ruptured ankle ligaments in less than two weeks.

So what does that mean for The Open as a tournament?

Will Rory’s absence spoil this year’s Open? And does it pave the way for Spieth’s Grand Slam seeing as he could miss the US PGA as well?

Members of the team at National Club Golfer debate the issue.

James Savage – If Rory’s ankle doesn’t recover in time then it is a huge blow for the tournament. He’s the world number one and the defending champion.

It’s still The Open and I’m still hugely excited about it but it does lose something without Rory for me.

Obviously it increases Spieth’s chances of the Grand Slam as Rory could also be missing for the US PGA next month but I fancy someone with a bit more St Andrews experience to come out on top next week.

Tom Lenton – After seeing first-hand the following Rory had at Wentworth then yes it certainly is a loss not having him at The Open in terms of crowd pull.

But you could argue that Rory wasn’t in contention at either the Masters or US Open, so no, I don’t think it increases Spieth’s chances.

Damien Wilde – Two top 10 finishes for Rory in the last two majors? Not in contention? Are you sure TL?

Spieth isn’t guaranteed anything, but I’m sure he’ll be as disappointed as anyone that Rory isn’t there. Surely as a professional you want to beat the best when you’re at your best?

TL – Rory started the final round 11 shots back and finished six back – not in contention in the Masters.

Started the final round eight shots back and finished five back – not in contention in the US Open.

I don’t think Spieth will lose any sleep about Rory not being there, you want to win and write your name in history, nobody will remember it as the one Rory didn’t play.
Does it pave the way for a Spieth Grand Slam? Of course not and actually quite offensive to everyone else to suggest that. Tom Irwin – You’re right TL, Harrington won two majors when Woods was injured, no one even remembers that now, they don’t put an asterix on the trophy.

If Rory misses out then it will diminish the build up but if we end up with a finish like we did at the US Open then no one, other than him and Nike, will care.

He is a world number one but he is not the force majure that Woods was at his peak.

Does it pave the way for a Spieth Grand Slam? Of course not and actually quite offensive to everyone else to suggest that.

From Rory’s personal point of view, his record at St Andrews is ludicrous, and he will have two possibly three chances to win there in his career from now, this being one of them, so it is personally devastating as he is missing an incredible opportunity to become a St Andrews Open Champion.

Dan Murphy – It’s a huge blow for The Open until the first ball is struck, before which time the talk will be of little else.

After that, everyone will largely forget about Rory until the end of the week. The event will then be judged on its own merit.

As Rory says in the latest issue of NCG, St Andrews is his best chance of winning Opens and Whistling Straits is also a great venue for him so it’s a massive blow for him personally.

I don’t think it paves the way for Spieth to win the Grand Slam as it’s highly unlikely we would have seen him finish second behind Rory at St Andrews.

In fact, read my lips: Spieth won’t win the Grand Slam. Trust me on this.

JS – Never say never DM. That could be your Michael Fish moment right there.